U.S. Immigration regulations stipulate:
“If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control” [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)(C)].
Eligibility for Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization
To be eligible for off-campus employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship, F-1 students have to meet the following conditions:
- Must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
- Must be in good academic standing and registered full-time. Students should be prepared to show that employment will not interfere with their studies.
- Must be able to explain why other employment opportunities on campus are either unavailable or insufficient to meet their needs.
- Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status. Examples of unforeseen economic hardship include:
- Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student
- Substantial fluctuations in the value of the currency or exchange rate
- Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs
- Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support
- Medical bills
- Other substantial and unexpected expenses
Severe Economic Hardship can be difficult to prove. Please contact the International Student Advisor for further information and application procedures.